PMA-208 change of command ceremony

Rear Adm. Brian Corey, left, who oversees the Program Executive Office for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO (U&W)), provides remarks at the Aerial Targets (PMA-208) change of command ceremony where Capt. Molly Boron, center, is relieved by Don Blottenberger, right, as the chaplain looks on July 1 at the Pax River Naval Air Museum in Maryland. (U.S. Navy photo)

Aerial Targets program office changes leadership

The Aerial Targets program office (PMA-208) welcomed a new program manager during a ceremony July 1 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.

Rear Adm. Brian Corey, Program Executive Officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons (PEO (U&W)), presided over the change of command ceremony that transferred leadership from Capt. Molly Boron to Don Blottenberger.

“This program office has developed some amazing payloads that give our surface warriors and our air warriors (of all services) a very challenging presentation,” Corey said. “Molly and her team arose to the challenge each and every time.”

Since July 2018, Boron has led a team of over 300 personnel and was responsible for a $1.6 billion program that supplied relevant aerial targets, target control systems, augmentation systems and threat simulation payloads for major combat weapon system test and evaluation (T&E), U.S. Fleet Forces Live Fire With a Purpose (LFWaP) training, and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) partners.

Under her tenure, BQM-177A achieved initial operational capability and the target was delivered to the first operating activity at Pacific Targets and Marine Operations (PTMO) at Naval Base Ventura County in California. Her team is currently on the cusp of completing the fourth and final operating activity BQM-177A transition. 

PMA-208 played a part in USS Ford (CVN-78), DDG-1000, Standard Missile, Rolling Airframe Missile, and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile development programs, as well as Rim of the Pacific (RimPac), Formidable Shield and other major U.S. naval exercises. Boron also led introduction of the GQM-163A target capability at NASA Wallops and Hebrides, Scotland, providing high-end training to U.S. Fleet Forces and 6th Fleet and increased launch capacity at Point Mugu Sea Range by installing a 2nd MK-7 launcher.

Boron will now support NAVAIR’s Inspector General Office.

“I could not be prouder of the men and women of PMA-208.  As a team, we established new subsonic and supersonic capability and capacity,” said Boron. “Our products are key enablers to PEO Integrated Warfare Systems combat weapon system test and evaluation and deploying ships’ readiness.  The team has leveraged their talent and invested incredible hours into our aerial and land targets, target systems, the stand up of new operating sites, and the training of fleet operators.”

Blottenberger takes command after recently serving as the deputy program manager for the Precision Strike Weapons program office (PMA-201). A Maryland native, he graduated from University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1994. He has more than 25 years of experience as a civil servant supporting NAVAIR. Blottenberger has served in multiple roles in the F/A-18 program office and within PEO (U&W) as deputy program manager for the Unmanned Carrier Aviation and Tomahawk program offices.

“Without a doubt, the targets community is talented and poised to meet the demands of our Navy,” Blottenberger said. “Targets will be ready to play its part in shaping our Navy as we deal with the uncertainties of the next 10 years. Together we will work to grow each other from good to great as we continue to pursue excellence while building the targets community of tomorrow.”

PMA-208 provides threat representative aerial targets, such as the GQM-163A supersonic sea-skimming target, AQM-37D, BQM-34S, BQM-74E, BQM-177A and QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target, to replicate numerous anti-ship cruise missiles and other airborne threats.  Additionally, the program office provides augmentation systems, threat simulation payloads and target control systems – all of which allow targets to be configurable, tracked and controlled. 

PMA-208 new program manager

New Aerial Targets Program Manager Don Blottenberger gives remarks during his change of command ceremony July 1 at the Pax River Naval Air Museum in Maryland. (U.S. Navy photo)

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